The fall hunting seasons will soon be here so now’s a great time make sure your hunting rifle is still punching holes in the bulls-eye. DGIF’s sighting-in ranges will be open from September 1 to March 31. Ranges are located at the following Wildlife Management Areas: Clinch Mountain, Gathright, C.F. Phelps, White Oak, Amelia, and Chickahominy.
DGIF ranges are unstaffed and open to the public. If you go, it’s essential to read and obey all rules—they are posted at each range–and be courteous to your fellow sportsmen. The ranges get a lot of use this time of year, and David Dodson, DGIF Hunter Education Program Manager, stresses the importance of safety. “A crowded range can make it more difficult to keep a firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Use extra caution and obey all posted range rules to keep everyone safe.” Here are some essential rules:
- Shooters must wear eye and ear protection.
- All firearms must remain unloaded with actions open until the shooter is seated at firing position. Loaded firearms must remain pointed down range. The muzzle should always be pointed in a safe direction.
- Before going down range, be sure that everyone has stopped shooting. Call out loudly, “is it safe to go down range?”
- The handling of any firearms is prohibited while anyone is beyond the firing line.
There are 41 wildlife management areas in Virginia but only the WMAs listed above have shooting ranges. Be safe & good shooting!
This article was written by Ron Messina, Media Manager, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.